Malnutrition is one of the greatest problems facing the world and can result in both undernourishment and obesity. The World Health Organization predicts that the rate of obesity-related diseases — diabetes, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure — is quickly rising across the world and that they will be the leading causes of death in all countries, even the poorest, within a couple of years.
I wanted to play a role in addressing the malnutrition in my home country Ecuador and the whole Andes region, including Bolivia and Peru. While completing my studies in business, I realized the potential of adding value to local raw materials such as quinoa to provide nourishment to children and adults. Thus, dosmargaritas functional foods (dmff) was launched to create a nutrient-rich food brand. We develop and sell functional snacks – consisting of local raw materials – that provide tangible health benefits to our customers. I faced major obstacles in developing my food business: outdated paradigms, closed-mindedness, corruption, and lack of access to capital and markets. With every obstacle I became even more convinced that nutrition – good nutrition – is relevant to everyone.
A couple of years ago, while working on our entry strategy to developed markets in Cologne, Germany, an interested businessman asked me how I would get funding to accomplish our company’s goals of developing a highly nutritious, all-natural, tasty quinoa bar brand while selling and distributing a snack that contains 94 percent of the micronutrients and macronutrients required by children between the ages of five and 12. I answered that the right funding will be there in the right moment once investors recognize that good nutrition is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle.
Ashoka’s “Nutrients for All” community provides a mechanism to raise awareness and implement solutions relating to malnutrition and obesity. Join us in changing the food system and bringing the benefits of good nutrition to children and adults to allow them to thrive.